Angeles Crest to Islip Saddle



Paved mountain road




Elevation Gain


2897’ per GPS

Starting/Max Elevation


5350’ / 7020’ per GPS

Starting Coordinates


34 19.821’ N, 118 00.104’ W

Angeles Crest (Highway 2) is one of the best known mountain roads in Los Angeles as it’s the primary road for accessing the San Gabriel Mountains. Although many cyclists ride the section starting in La Canada, I consider it too narrow and busy to be enjoyable. This route begins 27 miles beyond La Canada, using a section of the road that sees lighter traffic; e.g. on the Tuesday that I created this trace I was passed by just one car over the whole 26 mile ride!

This ride is ideal for summer but not recommend during winter months as this section is often closed during winter. Consider checking with the forest service before heading out (the web site lists closures, but is invariably out of date).

Getting there

On Highway 2 proceed to Newcomb’s Ranch, 26.7 miles from the 210 freeway exit in La Canada Flintridge. Food and refreshments are available here. Google directions to start


The Ride

From Newcomb’s Ranch turn left and begin climbing. As the profile shows the ride involves a sustained climb to the peak elevation. At 3.35 miles there is a sign indicating 6000’ elevation, with views of the high desert to the North at 3.5 miles.

The climbing continues until 6.17 miles, at which point a sign announces cloud burst summit at 7018’ - the highest elevation of the ride. From here it’s a fun 2 mile downhill passing Buckhorn campground at 7.35 miles, before the climbing begins again at 8.17 miles. At 9.35 miles Snowcrest ski lift is on the right - there was still a little snow here in June.

After passing Eagles Roost at 10.9 miles, the end of Highway 39 (closed since the 1970’s) is visible on the right, at 11.7 miles. A tunnel entrance appears ahead at 11.86 miles, with a sign warning of big horn sheep next 1 mile (I looked hard but didn’t see any).

A viewing/rest area can be found on the right at 12.7 miles. From here there’s a nice view into the canyon, and a small (quarter mile) nature trail.

After 13.29 miles and 1 hour, 15 minutes of riding a locked gate across the road is reached (as of June ‘08). Since this section has been closed a few years I’m guessing it may not be opening anytime soon. It is not obvious if cyclists are allowed on this section so I make this the turnaround point.


Ride log

Last Ridden


Pedal Time

Elapsed Time

Jun 3rd, 08

Excellent - road was resurfaced last year and despite the winter is still in excellent condition.

2 hours 6 minutes

2 hours 33 minutes






[Directions to start]

[Map in pdf (1.04 MB)]

[GPS Trace (waypoint every quarter mile)]

[GPS Trace (all waypoints)]

[Topo file (.tpo)]

[Photo Album]





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Site Last Modified: Tuesday, March 10, 2009